BOULDER, Colo. — Fire managers are confident they have stopped a wildfire burning in the Colorado foothills from spreading, but people who live in the blaze’s path still didn’t know yesterday when they would be able to return to their homes — or what remains of them.
The fire has destroyed at least 169 houses and is burning on a 10-square-mile area in canyons 5 miles west of Boulder. About half the blaze’s perimeter now has fire lines built around it to keep sparks from spreading the flames to the area beyond.
Crews hope to have the fire fully contained by tomorrow evening thanks to calmer winds and the work done by about 1,000 firefighters from 20 states in digging those lines.
It has cost $4.9 million to fight the fire, among the most destructive in the state’s history.
Authorities believe the blaze was human-caused. They are looking at whether a vehicle may have crashed into a propane tank.
The loss of homes surpassed that of the 2002 Hayman fire in southern Colorado, which destroyed 133 homes and 466 outbuildings over 138,000 acres, or more than 215 square miles.
Insurers had no immediate estimate on total damage in the canyons, scattered with million-dollar homes and more modest log homes and ranches.